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End Grain Cutting Board - Maple, Purpleheart and Black Walnut

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Project by mtkate posted 1814 days ago 4665 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My first attempt – and definitely will not be my last.

After seeing so many fantabulous cutting boards on this site – I finally ventured farther than I have ever been before and bought wood that is NOT pine, oak or maple. In fact, maple is still a new venture for me.

This took me 3 weekends (unfortunately, I have a dayjob that is NOT woodworking… or is that fortunately so I can afford to make mistakes?). The first weekend was to joint, plane and cut the strips & glue them (last pic). The second week was to cut the cross strips and glue them up. The last weekend was finishing.

My planer took a bite off the edges, so I learned a lesson there that they need protection or I have to cut the pieces for the ends a bit wider… and it also bit into the board (you can see it in the 3rd pic) because I am still learning how to use a planer effectively. I decided not to fix the bite, since I will be keeping the board and chopping into it. Someday I will have to plane it down again. In any case, my boyfriend hardly noticed.

The shop gnomes also got in during the last glue up and played with my perfectly book-matched stripes (LOL). Now I understand the skill required and have learned that patience is indeed a virtue. The stripes are off by a small amount, but you can’t tell from afar.

I rounded the edges as much as possible for the day I drop this thing on my toes. It’s heavy!!! The board is almost 2 inches thick. I used waterproof glue and I think it will hold but I will take special care.

In any case, it’s sanded down to a glass smooth feel and is awaiting the first chop. I don’t think either of us has the heart but it’s gotta happen.





12 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12835 posts in 2578 days


#1 posted 1814 days ago

nice work ! cutting boards are always fun to make and great gifts too

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Mauritius's profile

Mauritius

96 posts in 1821 days


#2 posted 1814 days ago

Looks great! I haven’t made an end grain board yet, but it’s on the list. I’ve read a bit of advice you might find helpful. If you round the edges slightly before you run it through the planer you won’t have as big of a problem with blowout on the ends.

The other stuff I’ve read is that running end grain through a planer can be very dangerous. Some people refuse to do it, there are plenty of “my cutting board/planer exploded and almost killed me” stories out there. A lot of the tutorials you read online stress this, and say that it’s really really important to sand or hand plane the board nearly flat and take very light passes on the planer. And don’t stand in front or behind of the planer when the board’s going through.

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1921 days


#3 posted 1814 days ago

Thanks! I did not think of rounding the edges. It’s logical.

I was really careful with the planer, because I was aware of those foibles – and indeed made really light passes after having taken down some obvious differences with a block planer. But I will admit the block planer work was very difficult (or I am very lazy!!!). I am also paranoid enough that I never stand in front or back of the planer – and always have a clear path to that big “off” button :)

View Innovator's profile

Innovator

3584 posts in 2009 days


#4 posted 1814 days ago

Board looks good, nice job

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View SimonSKL's profile

SimonSKL

182 posts in 1835 days


#5 posted 1814 days ago

Very nice and beautifully done! I have yet to make one. Yours inspires me to make one soon. Thanks for the pictures.

-- Simon, Danville, IL

View degoose's profile

degoose

6967 posts in 1950 days


#6 posted 1814 days ago

A first attempt is always a challenge and a learning curve.
For your next one might I suggest that you vary the width of the stripes in the first glue up stage and when you cut and roll …alternate the pieces.
This will achieve two things.. the pieces will lock themselves in like laying bricks.
Secondly if the shop gremlins move the glue up then it will be less noticable.
Well done and many more to come. BTW I hope you don’t mind me giving you advice.
Larry

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1921 days


#7 posted 1814 days ago

I love advice, especially from the expert himself!

View eddy's profile

eddy

926 posts in 1960 days


#8 posted 1814 days ago

nice color combo. turned out great
watch out cutting boards can be addicting

-- self proclaimed copycat

View dustbunny's profile

dustbunny

1149 posts in 1891 days


#9 posted 1813 days ago

Don’t know if you’ve seen the Wood Whisperer podcast video of an end grain cutting board, but here is the link-

http://thewoodwhisperer.com/episode-7-a-cut-above-part-1/

This was my first tutorial, it was an easy board to make, and soooo fancy.

Very good first attempt, definitely round your edges before you plane. I run the edges on the router table with a 1/8” roundover bit before planing, no tear out. Also, yes be very careful planing end grain, it can be hazardous. I only take skim cuts and run the board through many times.

Things don’t always line up like you want them to, but do like Larry suggested and you should avoid this. Keep the boards coming, it gets better the more you do it.

Lisa

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~ http://quiltedwood.com

View mtkate's profile

mtkate

2049 posts in 1921 days


#10 posted 1813 days ago

Thanks Lisa. Very cool plan – even gives you an approximate cost.

How many weeks until xmas? Let’s see…. I can make one every 3 weeks, but I think I have enough clamps to stagger 2 at a time…

I need more clamps.

View JoeinDE's profile

JoeinDE

357 posts in 1919 days


#11 posted 1813 days ago

Nice cutting board. I was too chicken to try end-grain on my first attempt.

You can never have too many clamps.

-- A bad craftsmen blames his cheap #$%ing tools

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2254 posts in 1478 days


#12 posted 1091 days ago

this is a beautiful, heavy duty cutting board. Great choice of wood for it!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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